UAB IT monitoring connectivity during remote working, teaching

WiFi infographic DS

When you are working or teaching remotely, connectivity is vital.

With the campus community operating under a limited business model, UAB IT is constantly evaluating networks and systems to ensure performance is stable.

VPN

One of the first tests was the stress on campus VPNs, the virtual private networks that allow users to connect to the campus network. UAB has deployed additional capacity and is encouraging those who do not need to use a VPN to simply use a secure internet connection.

“During the first few days we identified capacity constraints on the campus VPNs, and these issues have been resolved,” said Christian Cummings, executive director for network infrastructure.

Telephones

UAB IT also sped up the release of a new Jabber “softphone” app that allows you to use your computer or mobile device to make and receive calls on your office phone number. More than 3,000 campus employees have had their phone numbers configured to use Jabber.

Using Jabber decreases the number of phone lines that need to be forwarded — relieving stress on the phone lines and reserving capacity for critical business and health care needs.

Internet

UAB IT has been evaluating reports of intermittent connection issues for those using the AT&T network for home and mobile internet when attempting to access campus resources, including administrative systems, Jabber, and VPN. Testing indicated that congestion between AT&T’s network and the internet may have been the issue, but it appears to have been resolved. Access to email, Office 365 and Canvas were not affected.

Get help

If you need help with campus technology resources, contact AskIT at 205-996-5555 or submit a ticket at uab.edu/techhelp.

In addition, we invite you to submit ideas and questions about remote working and teaching technology at our crowdsourcing site SPARK, found at ideas.uab.edu.

Check the status of UAB systems at status.uab.edu.

Having trouble with home internet? Here are 10 basic troubleshooting tips:

  • Simplest fix? Move closer to your router.
  • Make sure you place your router in an open, central spot in your home.
  • Disconnect from VPN if it is not required to access your task or data.
  • Unplug devices you don’t need, especially older wireless devices.
  • Reduce use of apps or media that use a lot of bandwidth. (It’s probably not a good idea to be binging Netflix while in your Zoom meeting anyway.)
  • Connect your computer to your router via an ethernet connection instead of WiFi.
  • Turn off video while on Zoom or Teams calls if you have connection issues.
  • Avoid downloading large files.
  • Lower the resolution on your camera (most apps do this automatically, but some have a manual setting).
  • Use a headset to improve audio quality.
Last modified on April 02, 2020